INTERVIEW: Baselworld MD talks 2017 edition

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Ahead of this year’s event, Baselworld managing director Sylvie Ritter discusses why the Switzerland-based trade show continues to attract visitors and exhibitors from across the globe.

Why do you think exhibitors and visitors continue to return to Baselworld year after year?
Baselworld features the who’s who of the watch and jewellery industry on a worldwide scale. The world comes to this unmissable show. It gives visitors a flavour of what’s in store for them as all the brands use Baselworld as their platform of choice to exclusively launch their new products which will set the trends for the next 12 months.

How does Baselworld stand out from other jewellery and watch trade shows?
Baselworld is unique. Unique because it is the nerve centre for the watch and jewellery industry, where the pulse of the business is taken. Unique because the most prestigious brands, most influential retailers and most prominent journalists gather under one roof. Unique because it is the only show that truly has everything and everyone that matters from watches and jewellery over to diamonds, gemstones and pearls through to the machines that are essential for the industry. And not least, unique because year after year this is the birthplace of trends that will prevail for the following 12 months. Baselworld has achieved this unrivalled status as the one unmissable show for the watch and jewellery industry clearly because the amazement it creates reverberates around the world, extending well beyond those professionals who attend the show to the consumers who know that what is presented at Baselworld will be the must-haves in watch and jewellery fashion.

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Reports say footfall was down last year, what have you been doing to encourage more people to attend the 2017 show?
Most of the exhibitors have faith in Baselworld and come here year after year to present their latest creations to the world. They know that Baselworld continues to have its focus on the market and its needs, it is constantly moving forward, continues to invest in the future and is relentless in its pursuit of further increasing the quality and attractiveness of this event to strengthen the leadership role Baselworld plays.

What advice would you give exhibitors looking to get the most out of showcasing at Baselworld?
Whereas the presentation of their new collections certainly enjoys the highest priority, I would advise them to prepare themselves well for their global communications with the press — covering all media including digital and social media. This is key to getting the news of these collections out into the wide world, spreading the word and making them visible to consumers everywhere. Here again Baselworld is the perfect forum as we attract an incredible number of journalists from around the world making it possible for each of our exhibitors to spread their communication. That said, it will mean the exhibitors should be well-prepared with exciting news and a communication strategy that will excite the press and attract buyers.

How do you measure the success of Baselworld?
Our success lies in our ability to provide a platform for the entire industry that reflects the watches and jewellery industry. It is an incomparable platform as no other event offers anything even close. It is also a measure of our importance and element of our success that many brands choose to participate exclusively at Baselworld and nowhere else. Given this unique platform, it is no wonder that Baselworld is a major media magnet, drawing well over 4,500 journalists from around the world representing all the key media. They are drawn to Baselworld because they know that here is where they find those newsworthy innovations and new creations, which they broadcast to consumers around the world on a daily, even up-to-the-minute, basis, supporting the trend-making tradition for which Baselworld is renowned.

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